I must disagree with the author of “Endangered Wisdom” [6/23/10]. I’ve fished since I was big enough to hold a pole and crank a reel, and completely favor the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). They’ll help bring back the decimated populations of decent-size sport- and food-fish that used to be common, such as bonito, yellowtail, calico bass, black sea bass, ling cod, and varieties of rockfish too numerous to recount.
MPAs at the Channel Islands have been scientifically shown to increase fish populations, with little impact on overall catch. Contrarily, the author of “Endangered Wisdom” seems to suggest that protecting a minor percent of our local marine environment will harm fisheries at the expense of sport divers, sport fishers, and commercial fishers. If so, then our marine resources are in even worse shape than anyone thought.
White sea bass are a recent local success story, but only because of a significant hatchery program. I don’t want the coast turned into a hatchery-supplied fishery like the Sierra Nevada streams and lakes; this would be a terrible outcome for our ocean ecosystems that still have the potential to provide healthy fisheries. I join the vast majority of people who want to protect this publicly held resource, and support MPAs.—Greg Mohr, S.B.